How to Choose HVAC Certification Courses Chataignier LA

How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling School near Chataignier Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Chataignier LANow that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Chataignier LA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Chataignier LA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Chataignier LA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

radiator heater in Chataignier LA homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Chataignier LA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Chataignier LA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Chataignier LA student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Chataignier LA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Chataignier and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Chataignier LA HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Chataignier LA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Chataignier LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Chataignier LA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Chataignier LA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Chataignier LA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Chataignier LA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chataignier LA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Chataignier LA?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Chataignier Louisiana area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Chataignier, Louisiana

The name Chataignier is French and means "chinquapin," a small chestnut. Chinquapins (castenea punita) grew abundantly in the surrounding prairie until the chestnut blight wiped them out. They are now non-existent in the Chataignier community.

Gleanings from old records indicate that Chataignier's first settler was Ursiana Manuel who came from Mexico via New Orleans circa 1793 when Louisiana was a Spanish colony and George Washington was serving as President of the new republic known as the United States of America. The descendents of Ursiana Manuel are still living on the original land grant obtained by him during the Spanish domination of Louisiana. Other early settlers mentioned are Jacques Fontenot, Louis Redan, General Garis de Flaugeac, Artemon Lafleur, and Valentine Savoy. Savoy, incidentally, was the first man to begin the manufacture of spinning wheels in this part of the country. He also operated a large plantation, a cotton gin and a saw mill.

The settlers of Chataignier have long enjoyed the benefits of religion (predominantly Catholic), education and postal service, in that order. The second oldest church in the Evangeline country was founded in Chataignier. Records show that it was first a mission of Opelousas beginning in 1856 but that in 1869 it was created as a separate parish called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A church was built with Father Jean Baptiste Bre as its first pastor. In 1901, the then pastor Father A. L. Bacchioci moved to the new nearby village of Eunice, of which Chataignier became a mission at that time. The following year, Chataignier became an established church and separate parish for the second time and has remained so to this day.

How to Choose HVAC Certification Courses Chataignier LA

Selecting the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Certification Courses. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Chataignier LA.

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